Friday, November 6, 2009: 1:35 PM
Kohlberg (Camino Real Hotel)
Methamphetamine poses a tremendous threat to the economic stability in the United States. It is estimated that methamphetamine addiction costs our society $23.4 billion. This figure includes money spent on treatment, healthcare, foster care services, criminal justice system, and lost productivity. In New Mexico alone, 75% of children in foster care have a parent with a methamphetamine or other drug addiction. Most of the methamphetamine seized in 2008 originated in California or Arizona in route to Dallas or Houston for further trafficking to the eastern United States. The methamphetamine is most likely smuggled through the California-Mexico borders. Seizures in those areas remain quite high compared to seizures in other parts of the southern borders. Albuquerque, New Mexico seized more methamphetamine in 2008 than El Paso, Texas. Geographically, Albuquerque is directly in line with Dallas via I-40 traveling east from California. The average price of methamphetamine remains steady in each region studied. For example, the average price per gram of methamphetamine in El Paso is $25-40 while in Houston, the price increases to $100 per gram. The distinction between powder methamphetamine and “ICE” methamphetamine is great when considering the price differences. In El Paso, one kilogram of “ICE” sells for $20,000 while in Dallas the price increases to $41,000. Many factors affect the manufacturing, supply, and distribution of methamphetamine. Forensic laboratories have been an integral part in assisting law enforcement with the constant changing face of methamphetamine. Without the valuable information provided through analysis, officers would be unable to successfully investigate crimes associated with methamphetamine. Information will be presented which significantly affects law enforcement activities into the trafficking and manufacturing of methamphetamine.